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The Pitfalls of Self-Managing Your Rental Property — What Could Go Wrong?

Harbor Property ManagementWe’re not going to beat around the bush. Property Management is a tough job — and it’s not for the faint of heart. Most property investors just don’t want the added hassle of managing their property. There are a select few, however, that insist on taking the bull by the horn and striking out on their own.

If you are one of these few, you’re probably thinking, “What could go wrong?”

Here is a list of some of the duties that are part and parcel when managing a property. (And, yes, any one of these can and WILL go wrong at any moment.)

First Impressions and Communication 

Private landlords should consider the amount of time and work that managing a property entails, from advertising for new tenants, the upkeep of the property, legalities involved and managing money. Self-managed landlords will need to treat their property like a business, as opposed to a casual hobby that can be dipped in and out of when it suits them.

IMPORTANT: Potential tenants can spot an unprofessional landlord a mile away and they will move on to another property during their search for a new home when they do. So by treating their property like they would a paid job, self-managed landlords will make a good impression from the start.

Legal Requirements

By agreeing to take on the task of self-managing a rental property, the legal responsibilities will fall directly to you. It is recommended that landlords brush up on the current property and local authority laws and regulations applicable to your rental property

These vary from:

  • Having a correct Assured Shorthold Tenancy in place and being well versed in eviction law
  • ADA compliance
  • EPC requirements
  • Gas safety certificate
  • Electrical safety
  • Fire safety
  • Tenancy Deposit Protection
  • Maintaining a safe and clean environment

Rent Collection

When self-managing a property, landlords will be responsible for all of the finances, from collecting rent, paying taxes and funding repairs, so it is necessary that they have efficient procedures in place to prevent problems occurring.

You must make sure there is an efficient rent collecting system in place before taking on new tenants.

Vetting Tenants

Tenant referencing is a vital step to try and prevent bad tenants from moving into your property.

Getting tenants checked will help sift out the bad apples from the bunch, leaving you with peace of mind that the rent will be paid on time and the property will be looked after.

Marketing the Property

A self-managed landlord will also need to manage the advertising and viewing process when looking for new tenants.

Listing vacant property online is vital in the digital age, as the majority of tenants looking for a new home go to the online property portals first before they start looking elsewhere.

Some self-managed landlords are unsure as to how much rent they should charge. Getting the price right is a key ingredient when creating an online property listing because tenants can tell when a property is overpriced and will move on to another. With the rental market becoming increasingly popular due to SoCal’s housing shortage, self-managed landlords can’t afford to lose tenants to the competition due to getting the rent price wrong.

Conclusion

This is just a partial list of what’s in store for a self-managed property manager. We’ve left out things like maintenance, rental appraisals, and inspections. There is a lot involved in managing a property — that’s why we’re here to shoulder the burden.

If you’re tired of headaches and hassles of managing your own property, give us a call immediately. Our full service property management solution will save you time, money, and a lot less worry. We guarantee it.

Harbor Property Management